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Project Ara – what does this mean for the future of tech?

March 27, 2015 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Last year was the year dubbed “the year of the droid” and with that in mind, 2015 year looks to be the year of the modular smartphone – thanks to Google.

Also referred to as Project Google, the industry expects the release towards the end of the year, and when it happens, the move could change the way we buy and use phones forever.

And like most tech revolutions, the concept behind Project Ara is surprisingly simple. Rather than purchasing a handset with all the latest gadgets and factory add ones – you simply choose which specs you want, and even, how you want them.

What’s more you’ll be able to purchase and swap parts as you go along. So, if you fancy a more powerful camera, and see one in store, you can purchase one made by trusted third-party manufacturers – both corporate and independent.

The Verge has been lucky enough to see the project close up and Josh Lowensohn said that:

“On stage today at the second Project Ara Developers Conference just down the road from Google’s Mountain View headquarters, we saw it working with a 720p display module and receiver module attached the front, while the space for eight modules on the back included things like a camera, battery, and microUSB adapter.”

Google also recently announced that once released, users will be able to swap components while the phone is still running, even when a dying battery is swapped with a fresh one – something that could work as a huge draw for those with busy lifestyles.

With a radiation sensor having also been recently announced by a Russian company called Intersoft, the possibilities are quickly beginning to look endless. That said, it’s not just consumers and techies that are getting excited by the project, as retailers are also looking forward to the release.

Sam Taylor of Mobile Phones Direct spoke to us, saying:

“This really does look like the next big thing for phones. Around ten years ago people were excited because their phones had cameras on them, or could download games.

“Today the very idea of a phone is changing on an almost daily basis, and when Project Ara comes out later this year, this concept that we carry with us will change every time we buy or replace a new component for our phones. That idea is very exciting for us.”

What’s more, experts predict that the inclusion of the project shall shake up the big two giants of the industry, Samsung and Apple, loosening their long-held grip and creating a new corner of a long occupied market.

The defining aspect of Project Ara however, is that people could well be getting their hands on a brand new phone, with brand new technology, at a very low price – something that would have been unimaginable only a year ago.